1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Karl Strauss Amber - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss AmberKarl Strauss Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

128 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 14.71%


Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2002)
View: Beers (47) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

3.49/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Large off white head dies leaving a decent lacing over a clear golden-copper colored beer.

Aroma of light caramel hops comes through quite nicely.

Caramel grain malts taste that seems quite light, smooth and easy drinking.

This medium bodied beer has a very light dryish aftertaste that brings with it some of the caramel malt tastes.

A decent easy drinking amber.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 04:23:09 | More by LXIXME
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator

California

3.61/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish gold with a HUGE off-white head and good lacing.

Smell is rather faint and reminds me of grass with a hint of citrus zest.

The taste follows suit of aroma with an addition of honey malt.

Smooth mouthfeel; almost creamy. Very drinkable with high carbonation.

A good, not great amber lager. Very easy to drink. Almost tastes like a light beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 21:54:26 | More by Furlinator
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3.24/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Not sure if there's a freshness date on the bottle, as the only stamped looking info is smudged. All things considered, this beer should be consumed fresh.

Pours a decent, yet not too showy clear amber color with an initial burst of tons of carbonation and a half finger of head, only to slowly die down into a thinnish ring that seems to last for quite some time at the top of the glass. A half hour later, there's still lots of bubbles rising up. However, just like Red Trolley Ale, the nice little foam eventually disappears. Pretty simple, but on style as well.

The aroma is a combination of biscuit-infused mals with light caramel notes and little bit of citrusy zest. I'm glad those hops come out here, because otherwise the grainy backdrop would really overpower the flavor here. Everything is lightly toasted and not too showy, but I do get the impression that the flavor is going to be the highlight here.

While the caramel malts are definitely more prominent here, combined with slight yeasty notes and lightly tinged hops, there's a rather unpleasant grainy finish, loaded with little astringent notes that really could have made this more pleasant to drink. Syrupy, sweetened texture overall. However, despite the slightly unbalanced finish, it is pretty drinkable, and surprisingly not too watery overall by amber lager standards.

The flavor is pretty simple, and while there's not too much to write about here, this goes pretty well with food, especially greasy bar food, which I gladly paired this with tonight. On it's own, it doesn't ask for much, which is why whoever drinks it wouldn't have to as well. After being a fan of Karl Strauss's Tower 10 IPA, and being spoiled with Anchor Steam beer, this slightly underwhelms overall - especially if this is their flagship beer. Easy to drink, but it definitely is simple. At $1.30 a bottle, can't really complain though!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 06:05:43 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, bright amber with a white, 2 finger head. Decent retention. Spotty lacing with little stick.

Smell - Notes of honey hit first, backed by a strong caramel undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose with sweet, malt forward honey and caramel character. Hints at bread mid-taste and into the finish. No noticeable hops present, but the beer isn't cloyingly sweet. Simple, clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with light, tingly carbonation. Smooth, goes down with exceptional ease.

Overall - A fairly good, though simple, lager from Karl Strauss. Drinks close to an Oktoberfest / Marzen brew. Drinkable, and somewhat enjoyable, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it. Would make for a decent session brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 02:33:33 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Oct. 5, 2012 (purchased at BevMo in La Mesa (San Diego, Calif.) for $1.29 (with card) on Oct. 5, 2012). Less than a finger of head. Light honey caramel with iced tea head. Bad retention all-around.

Smelled caramel, toffee, nutty and a very slight whiff of chocolate. Malty.

Tasted a bit different than I was expecting. Got caramel and toffee up front with a decent amount of malts. Reminded me a bit of an Oktoberfest. Lots of carbonation on the tongue late, giving way to a slightly nutty finish.

Light body. Thinner texture. Above average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

I was hoping for a bit more, but an OK amber overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 04:13:24 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of rawfish
rawfish

California

3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a amber honey hue with a nice frothy off white 2 finger head. Poor retention and doesn't leave alot of lacing on the glass.

Picking up alot of processed clover honey, mild nuttiness and some pale malt and adjunct grain. Lager yeast and a hint of hay and lemon.

Honey and pale malt dominant perhaps a bit sweet but nothing offensive no adjunct grains or anything. Hop profile is lemon zest, hay and mildly spicy. Quite different in a good way. Finishes rather crisp and drying. Could use more flavor overall.

Light body for the color as well and active carbonation which I enjoyed. Slick on the palate and dries well.

Pretty decent, I think that it's on par with a Boston Lager, flavor is a bit on the lighter side and the honey sweetness is probably what drops down the score for alot of ppl but the hop profile is refreshing and different in a lager. For what it is, it's very nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 08:08:40 | More by rawfish
Photo of megahurts4
megahurts4

Louisiana

3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Karl Strauss Amber
On draft in LAX

Appearance: amber, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: malt grain and hop.

Taste: malts, grain, and hop.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

Overall: this is a decent amber. It is very malty. It has a bunch of flavors that seem to only mix ok, but not perfect.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2012 01:44:12 | More by megahurts4
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a smidge darker than amber, but still looks nice with just a wisp of white head on it. Roasty, nutty, slightly warmed malt sensation in the aroma.

More nuttiness, oktoberfest like sweetness, a beer that drinks heavier than you would think from looking at the abv. Its not exactly complex, but it is a substantial step up above fizzy yellow stuff, this is a good gateway beer. Reminiscient of Sprecher's Vienna Lager if you're into that. Use this beer to warm people up to the idea of getting into drinking the heavier and crazier stuff with you someday. Its decent and flavorful without being out there or too adventurous.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 07:26:31 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss. From where I'm sitting I don't have an ideal view of the coy pond, but I grabbed the closest seat I could find. I can see the water, but very few coy. Perhaps I'll try to find a better seat as people head back to work after lunch.

A: Aptly named, the beer appears transparent amber with an inch of white froth.

S: Pronounced bread and grain with lesser notes of biscuit and just a dash of caramel.

T: Bread, biscuit, and grainy malt with almost no hop influence (a shadow of noble hop character). The finish is simple, very grainy, and clean.

M: Light in body with lower high carbonation.

Overall: A very simple amber lager with simplicity being its only flaw. All things considered, this is pretty enjoyable. A man could drink a lot of this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 22:45:59 | More by HopHead84
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderately low.

A: Pours a one and a half finger head - extremely thin, without cream, and of abysmal retention. Appears overcarbonated. Colour is a semitransparent copper-gold. (Certainly not amber-coloured).

Sm: Caramelized malt, barley, and light cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Stale cream over top a simple barley foundation. Some hops are present - definitely the best aspect of the beer. If they'd amp up the hop content I could see this being much better. As is, it's boring and a bit bland. But it does show promise for improvement, with effort. Simple and imbalanced, but still somewhat refreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but overcarbonated, making it a bit sharp and too thick. Doesn't suit the flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but very mundane. I wouldn't have it again. It needs more complexity, more smoothness, and some serious flavour profile to be worthy of consumption.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 07:10:38 | More by kojevergas
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Clear amber color. Two fingers of off white head, dies down to a ring of foam and some decent lacing left behind.

Smells lightly of caramel, toffee, and most prominently of biscuity yeast.

Taste follows smell light smack of caramel/toffee, biscuit, some yeast.

Medium bodied, could be more carbonated though.

Solid vienna lager.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 05:05:05 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler

Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Carlsbad, CA

Dark red and amber with a thin khaki colored head. Lines of lacing left down the glass.

Very bready aroma with some mild caramel sweetness as well. Simple.

This tastes like toasted bread with a bit of caramel and toffee sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Simple.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

An extremely bready amber ale, and flavorful enough per the style.

Serving type: growler

10-08-2011 04:43:09 | More by ehammond1
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nutty, roasty, and caramel flavors are the good points. Makes a good first impression and ends up being inoffensive. Very fragrant nose of flowers and malt. This one could have better carbonation to qualify for the big gulp award. IBU in the teens so it's shy on bitterness.

Quite unassuming but a good example of how much flavor can be packed into a low-alcohol, low-hop beer. It manages to be quite drinkable with a warm flavor and just a touch of tartness.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2011 04:49:58 | More by mactrail
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a thin film. Random splotches of lace form here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of toasted malt and slight hay/grass. Taste is pretty watered down malt with some grass/hop flavors coming in on the end. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a a pretty average beer all around. Nothing too great but nothing too offensive. A good choice if there is nothing else worthwhile.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 06:18:20 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Armand
Armand

California

3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not that bad for a 'just to chill' beer, but it is too average. Nothing to talk good about here. You can actually put this in a catogory of common craft beers and it would fit in. Not awful, but...
A: Light brown.
S: Bland. Serving it in chilled mugs is stupid. And that's what most bars do. At least the ones who don't know anything about beer do.
T: Light brown...???
M: Again, it just goes down as a common beer. Dapness almost.
O: I'd order it maybe if I needed a beer, but I don't really need a beer most times.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 22:28:34 | More by Armand
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Amber with med pale tan head steadily shrinking to nothing, no lace.

Aroma is toasty bread & barley, hint of caramelized toast, hint of spicy earthiness and bark.

Taste is light caramelized-toast sweetness up front, then dryer with same light flavour and light zesty, vague bittrness – faintly citrusy & grassy. It is pretty good, pleasant, but simple, a bit thin and slightly watery.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 21:10:38 | More by Offa
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a light one finger white head, fizzy carbonation. Below average retention, no lace.

S: Toasty malt with a note of caramel sweetness. Light hints of apple peel.

T: Biscuity toasty malt with a mild noble hop backing. Some minor grassiness. Red apple bits are nice, I just wish there was something more to the malt flavour.

M: Light-bodied, thin watery finish. Crisp and clean, refreshing.

D: This is basically in the Dos Equis Amber realm of Vienna lager. Not bad tasting, just not interesting at all. Boston Lager and Negra Modelo completely outshine this effort in the same category.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 01:26:05 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.33/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap in downtown San Diego at the Columbia Street brewpub. There isn't a whole lot of good to say about this, so I will keep this short and sweet. The beer was poured into a pint glass. It was extremely light colored, especially for the style. The beer had no real outstanding flavors. Basic malt backbone, with little to offer past that. It has a very disappointing aftertate, although typical of a lager; musty and a bit sour. Sour aftertaste, as well.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2011 08:39:34 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jeffthecheff
jeffthecheff

Connecticut

3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber color with virtually no head into a weizen glass.

Aroma is unimpressive. Faint toasty malt with very little intensity. Boring, but no obvious flaws.

There is a very light caramel flavor as well as a light bitterness. Flavor is clean overall, but the high carbonation masks the body and flavor. Nothing impresses me here, but it's tolerable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 00:48:03 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber (surprise!) color with a marshmallow fluff head; OK retention and a smattering of lace

Smell: Doughy malts and toffee

Taste: The taste follows the aroma, with the doughy malts being complemented by the toffee through mid-palate, where a grainy, nutskin bitterness arrives; after the swallow, the sweeter elements tend to dominate, though the lager twang lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: After a while, the sweetness really gets overbearing, rendering this beer a bit tough to drink in any quantity

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 02:37:49 | More by brentk56
Photo of crvcac
crvcac

California

4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at ale house.
Appearance: pours a nice golden amber, moderate head. Alight lace

Smell: smells of toffee and rich caramel malt.

Taste: caramel malt, very fait subtle hops.

Mouthfeel: sits nice on the palate. Nice crisp finish

Drinkability: solid session beer. Would seek out again

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 17:15:51 | More by crvcac
Photo of chickenandrice
chickenandrice

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Clear amber with finger width of head. The head dies quickly. Modest amounts of lacing.

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts, sweet candy and caramel dominate.

M - Light body and average carbonation.

D - Wife's favorite, so can say anything bad about it! I would have anything bad to say anyways!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 02:30:25 | More by chickenandrice
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A rather average beer, but, for the style, it's certainly not terrible. It's funny that the reviews are sort of all over the place (kinda sounds like the LAX bar needs to clean their tap lines). This is a clean, somewhat sweet lager. It's a nice, clear amber with a dissipating white head that manages to hang on with a very tight white cap after a minute. The aroma is mostly doughy malt sweetness. There's a faint hint of herbal hops, but it's just a low abv amber lager with its roots in German brewing. It lacks any real depth of malt flavor. The flavor is vaguely sweet and fairly clean. It's nice to have a <4.5% abv beer, but this one wants for flavor. Mouthfeel is inoffensive, though the carbonation seems oddly low. Ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 04:38:22 | More by popery
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is caramel with a tint of amber or ruby. Two fingers of buttery, off-white head developed and left a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Sweet caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch. Another reviewer mentioned it smelling like Werther's Originals, and I have to agree.

Taste: Follows the smell, but it thankfully tastes more like beer. The caramel is mostly sweet, but has a slightly toasted edge to it. The vanilla is also detectable, but the butterscotch is not as prominent. Floral hops provide a touch of balanced bitterness, which lingers after each sip.

Drinkability: Very tasty and smooth drinking. It is the most flavorful lager I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 06:07:42 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of VWBuggirl
VWBuggirl

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a very light, clear amber color, but with a thick head. It smells more on the sweet side, I am thinking caramel or toffee. Otherwise there wasn't much to it.

The taste was quite malty and sweet. I was disappointed with the aftertaste as there wasn't much to it, but it went very well with my bbq.

I did like the carbonation and it was easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2010 07:23:44 | More by VWBuggirl
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Karl Strauss Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.